The Celtic Cross Mission Society serves as the missionary "hands" of the seminary, raising both funds and awareness, while engaging in direct community outreach.
Charitable organizations in the San Francisco Bay area and across the globe received 2014 Celtic Cross Mission Grants totaling more than $20,000, strengthening work on behalf of refugees and new immigrants, literacy programs, supplemental nutrition, environmental advocacy, and disaster preparedness. [ See a five-minute video of this year's grant recipients. ]
A team of students reviews the grant applications, and researches needs, to present recommendations to the seminary community. Two of the grants given this year were in recognition of CDSP's partnerships with Ripon College Cuddesdon, near Oxford, England, and Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong. Each of these grants is being sent forth with a student to shepherd a mission project.
Much of the focus of Celtic Cross in the fall is on raising funds, primarily through parking cars on Cal football game days – turning the parking lot into mosquito nets, clean water, teaching supplies, food for hungry bellies, and more. This becomes mission evangelism, as students share stories of the projects with those who use the parking lot, connecting them with the Good News they are helping to support. Celtic Cross also raises funds by operating a vending machine at the seminary, and is the recipient of community night offerings to support the annual grants process.
Celtic Cross is about more than raising funds and writing checks, though. Follow on Facebook to see how you can engage in hands-on mission at local food pantries and shelters, and connect with others to participate in advocacy and support for neighbors in need through a variety of local projects. The seminary prepares and serves meals at the Winter Interfaith Shelter in San Francisco, and last winter several students participated in an urban mission immersion retreat through Celtic Cross. The organization also sponsored a community forum on urban mission in Spring 2014.
All members of the CDSP community, including faculty, staff, students, spouses, and partners, are considered members of the Celtic Cross Mission Society.
The Panama Project offers up to four students at Episcopal seminaries, including CDSP, the opportunity to spend three weeks in the Episcopal Diocese of Panama.
An outstanding feature of the program is orientation to and engagement with the social, economic and political dimensions of life in Panama, including the country's complex relationship with the USA. Thus, in addition to offering experience in grassroots pastoral ministry, the program explores the dynamics of colonialism and imperialism between North America and Latin America. The program has proven invaluable to students interested in Hispanic ministries.
2015 Application Deadline: December 15, 2014
Applications are available through this link: Panama Project Application.
For over 25 years CDSP has had a partnership with the Diocese of Panama to work with them on a variety of projects. This Panama Project was established in 1986 by the Rev. Dr. John Kater. Professor Emeritus, and Dr. Walter E. Smith (Education and Vocational Development Officer in the Diocese of Panama, and honorary degree recipient from CDSP, October 2012).
Housing is at the Diocesan Center in Panama City and with local families. While proficiency in Spanish is not required, it is a valuable resource and preference will be given to Spanish-speaking applicants. The Panama Project is open to Episcopal seminarians who have completed at least one full year of seminary study before attending the program. Past experience indicates that participants who are able to approach the Project with an attitude of openness and willingness to learn rather than teach will benefit most. Selection will be based on experience, expectations and language proficiency.
The Diocese of Panama gives seminarians a warm welcome and invites them to experience the life of this diverse and exciting part of the Anglican Communion. Life in Panama can be challenging, and participants should be prepared for tropical heat and Panama's rainy season, lots of walking and perhaps some physical labor. Field work assignments are often in areas of the country without running water and where travel conditions may be rigorous.
Structure of the Program